Friday, November 21, 2008

This is Not a Race Bike.

I would never tell someone how much I loved something with out any knowledge of what I speak.

In our pursuit to educate ourselves about our products choices, I have chose to spend time riding a Lapierre. From a marketing standpoint Lapierre is pretty smart. They offer three different road bikes, even though they look as if they offer many more. In the line up you will find an R-Lite, S-Lite, and X-Lite. I'm currently riding an S-Lite.

I've spent so many of the last several years riding on "racing" bikes and not paid much attention to anything else out there. What I realized, is that I've really been missing out.

When the S-Lite arrived, it came as a whole bike, with a triple on it. These were certainly not the droids I was looking for. I quickly striped the build kit off the S-Lite and set it aside for another project. Next, I stripped the build kit off of my current road bike - Dura Ace 7800 with a few extra special items added for style and performance.

The Lapierre, upon initial inspection, looked flawless. However, being the anal avenger I am, I opened the Campy tool box and pulled out the needed tools to prep the frame as I would any frame I build.

Once the bike was built, I suited up and headed out for a test ride. Right away, I thought to myself, this is not a race bike. Like all new rigs I build, I like to test them out on our own roubaix - Madera county roads.

I did everything in my power to not miss bumps, potholes, and ruts in the road. While I felt every bump, the severity of the road surface was deadened, kind of like riding in a Cadillac. I started having these flashback to the double centuries I did in my younger years and wished I had a bike like this back then. I could have finished a little strong, not taking such a beating like a race bike will do to you.

The next day I took it to Sky Harbor, a ride with steep climbs and fast and windy downhills. In the saddle it climbs as good as any bike I've owned. Out of the saddle it has a nice stable balance while rocking it side to side. On the longest most technical downhill it dropped like a stone, making me feel stable and confident. The only negative I found about the S-Lite was it did not have a huge kick when I sprinted for the end in a large gear, but that's okay, this is a century bike, not a race bike, and that's what makes this bike so much fun. It's comfortable, stable, and well balanced, all things that I would want in a bike if I was going to spend 8+ hours in the saddle. Last time I did a double, I didn't see anyone sprinting for the line.

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